Simple Charming Autumn

 

“The world is ruled by letting things take their course.”

Lao-Tzu

 

Hello!

 

 

Fall has arrived…🌻well almost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something which reminds me that…

 

 

summer is coming to an end…

 

 

are the flowers…

 

 

in my garden

 

 

 

 

These beautiful orange flowers ( I don’t know their name… do you?) begin blooming late summer into early Fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are so beautiful and present a moment of stunning seasonal inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 which allows me to bring the outdoors in and create…

 

 

what I call simple charm for Autumn in a sweet cottage

 

 

by the sea…

 

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BAKED ZITI

Joe loves pasta. That being said Joe chose this weeks date-day meal. He has been training for a marathon (this weekend) and pasta is a great carb for runners. I’ve been the beneficiary of his wonderful choice of food. The good news is you don’t have to be training for a marathon to enjoy this easy…yummy…three cheese layered delight. However…I can’t promise you that you won’t need to walk around the block a few times. sorry about that

 

 

1 (16 ounce) package ziti pasta

24 ounces ricotta cheese

 

 

1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese

1 egg, beaten

 1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

 

DIRECTIONS 

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al~dente; drain and rinse.

 

 

In a medium bowl, mix ziti, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg and 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce.

 

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

 

 

Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and spoon in ziti mixture. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce, followed by Parmesan cheese.

 

 

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes…

 

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let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Cheers to a great weekend!

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Our Cottage | 2 Comments

Just a Cottage…

 

“He who loves an old house never loves in vain”

Isabel Fiske Conant

 

 

Hello…hello…hello!

 

 

I’ve been quite the social butterfly over here…

 

 

 

 

And with each passing social event…

 

 

there seems to be new discoveries living on the Oregon coast particularly in a vintage cottage.

 

 

There’s no question that my love for cottage style is fueled by what I call charm (old and imperfect)

 

 

I confess that I find beauty in the chipped teacup…chippy paint….a sometimes wobbly leg…the once new and now well worn home. There are times I actually struggle with replacing the old original.

 

 

At some level I treasure the realness and the story that comes with the character of the house more than making everything new.

 

 

Even when something is imperfect it is the imperfection that speaks at times the strongest to me.

 

 

Case in point there is a kitchen drawer which drops a little when pulled out too far…and a quirky cupboard cabinet that doesn’t stay closed even after you close it.

 

 

I am learning that somewhere in between the up-to-date and modern in this 1940s vintage there is a balance. Finding ways to elevate life…celebrate simplicity….and yet embracing an inspired lifestyle beautifully decorated.

 

 

That my sweet friends, is not only a game changer…it’s perfection

 

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BLUEBERRY COBBLER

 

 

INGREDIENTS

(Blueberry Filling)

 

 

6 cups fresh blueberries, sorted, rinsed and dried

one cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour for the biscuit crumble topping

one cup +5 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour

6 tablespoons granulated cane sugar

1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon table salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled and cut into bits

one large egg slightly beaten

one teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon granulated cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg  optional

DIRECTIONS

 Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 375°. Lightly batter 10 inch or 2 quart baking dish.

 

 

Prepare the blueberry filling: place blueberries into prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Add the flour and whisk  until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle mixture evenly over berries in prepared baking dish and toss gently.

 

 

Make sure the sugar and flour mixture is evenly distributed over the filling  with no mounting in the center or in any one place. This will ensure the sugar will caramelize and the flour will thicken evenly throughout the cobbler with the berry juices. Set aside.

 

 

 Prepare the Buttery Biscuit Crumble Topping: in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles a course meal with a small pea-sized pieces of butter. In a small bowl, whisk vanilla into beaten egg using a fork.

 

 

With a fork, gently toss beaten egg and vanilla into flour mixture until moistened and dough starts to hold together. Continue to toss and blend gently with fingertips until well combined yet taking care not to overwork the dough.

 

 

Assemble the Cobbler: Sprinkle biscuit crumble topping  evenly over fruit filling. Sprinkle biscuit crumble topping with sugar and, if desired, dust with freshly grated nutmeg.

 

 

Alternatively, dust with cinnamon/sugar combining sugar and cinnamon before sprinkling over topping. If desired, dust freshly grated nutmeg over cinnamon/sugar.

 

 

Bake the cobbler: Bake in preheated oven until topping is golden brown and filling is cooked through and bubbly about 40 to 45 minutes. To prevent over-browning of topping, cover with sheet of aluminum foil after 25 minutes of baking. Remove foil and carefully transfer to wire rack to cool.Avenue typing,

 

 

Serve the Cobbler: serve cobbler warm ala mode and with fresh whipped cream or both! Makes 8 to 10 servings.

 

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Our Cottage | 4 Comments

August Musings…

 

 

”Do not compare yourself with others, for you are a unique and wonderful creation. Make your own beautiful footprints in the snow.” –Barbara Kimball

 

 

 

Hi!

 

 

At some point during this last week of August (which by the way has zipped on by)  I was reminded of how rich and full life is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   a moment of painting…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gathering with friends for a morning chat…eat…and tour of their lovely garden

 

 

Preparing a meal with Joe…

or…

 

 

 welcoming a stray cat that I have named MacKenzie.

 

 

 

 

Who by the way is doing well.

 

 

There’s a beauty to life that grabs my attention.

 

One which opens me up to see another perspective… clarity…and reminding me of how things continue to change…grow…and unfold….offering a richness in life.

 

Hello September!

❌⭕️❌

 

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PASTA POMODORO

 

One afternoon Joe caught Nick Stellino on the cooking channel Nick and suggested we prepare this fabulous pasta. Sure Joe! 

Joe watched the video and modified the recipe to his own liking.

 

 

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 One medium onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes

 

 

 

4 large sprigs fresh basil

1 cup grated parmesan cheese divided

1/2 tablespoons sugar (as needed)

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound quality imported spaghetti

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat olive over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and add basil. Allow basil to steep in tomato sauce for about 15 minutes.

 

 

Transfer sauce to a blender. Add a half cup of  parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of sugar and purée until smooth. Taste and add more sugar if needed.

 

 

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt and spaghetti and cook until about two minutes before tender. Remove one cup of pasta cooking water before draining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Return pomodoro sauce to skillet along with pasta. Toss pasta over sauce over medium heat adding the butter and another 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Stir in some of the pasta cooking water as needed to achieve a smooth consistency. Continue tossing until pasta is completely coated in sauce, about two minutes more.   Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

Serve immediately with remaining parmesan cheese as a garnish.

 

Here is a peek of Darjeeling and MacKenzie

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | 8 Comments

Mackenzie The Cat

 

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

the Dalai Lama

 

Hi, how are you today?

 

 

I just returned to the cottage from my plein-air painting group

 

 

I’m really not an artist like the others…

 

 

however I enjoy the opportunity to paint outside and socialize a bit

 

 

This week we went to Couquille village by the river.

 

 

There are many charming home sites sitting along the river’s edge…perhaps one day I’ll share more about this area or even about the delightful plein-air painting group I participate in.

however…

 

 

at the moment I have a very pressing matter that has been creating a three-ring circus around this very sweet cottage.

 

 

 

 

It all began a few weeks ago as I was standing by one of the hydrangea bushes watering…clipping…and most likely admiring 

 

 

I looked down and noticed a very skinny b/w cat…at first I thought it was our cat Darjeeling except she is NOT skinny

 

 

I finished up the watering and was heading back inside when that very skinny b/w cat…

 

beat me to the entrance

 

 

 

 and…

mysteriously but not surprisingly…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 has found a home nest here

(I’ve learned the true meaning of co-existing)

 

 

Darjeeling hangs out by the back door while…

 

 

the very skinny b/w cat guards the front.

 

 

I’m not sure when it was decided that the very skinny b/w cat should be given a name…other than one evening I mentioned to Joe that the very skinny b/w cat has probably had a very difficult life and because of that we should give her a very cute name. We started throwing out suggestions for names and then I said…

“I Know!”

Mackenzie

 

 

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OREO Crunch Parfait

The perfect pairing of strawberries, OREO cookies and whipped topping to make this delightfully simple dessert. Serves 2

 

 

Ingredients

1 cup Sliced fresh strawberries about 8 ( I also used a few fresh blueberries)

 

 

1/2 cup thawed frozen whipped topping

4 OREO cookies (I used 16 mini’s)

Instructions

Layer half each of the ingredients in two 8 ounce glasses. (I purchased 2 margarita glasses from the Dollar Tree💋)

 

 

 

 

Repeat layers.

 

 

Refrigerate 15 minutes.

 

 

Below are two videos…the first is from when I first decided to feed MacKenzie💕

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | 8 Comments

The Couquille River and A Boat Ride🚢

 

 

”Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

-Henry David Thoreau

 

Hello, sweet friend…

 

 

Come and join me as I take you on a river boat ride.

 

 

It won’t take too long…

 

 

Sooooo…

Put  your feet up

 

 

relax as we 🚢 travel through time…

 

 

 along the Couquille river

 

 

Imagine an area which was once…

 

 

landscaped with…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lumber mills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dairy farms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

canneries

 

 

boats…

 

 

of 80 years ago

 

 

History…

 

 

a story of days gone by.

 

🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

 

EASY  ITALIAN-AMERICAN RED SAUCE

 

 

(For those times when you want to get a yummy dinner in your tummy and quick)👩‍🍳

 

 

INGREDIENTS

1 large sprig basil

4 cloves garlic diced

 

 

1 tsp. oregano, dried

2 (28-ounce cans) tomatoes, whole

3 teaspoons tomato paste

one tsp. salt

1 generous pinch red pepper flakes

2 tbsp. oil extra virgin

2 tbsp. butter, unsalted

Directions

 

 

1. In a large pot, combine oil and garlic

 

 

then

 

 

heat over moderately low heat until garlic begins to very gently sizzle.

Add red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until garlic just begins to turn a light gold in color, about three minutes.

 

 

Add oregano and continue to cook, stirring, for one minute.

2. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until paste has softened and blended with the oil, about three minutes.

 

 

3. Stir in canned tomatoes and their juices, increase heat to medium high, bring to a gentle simmer, then lower heat to maintain. Using an immersion blender, blend tomatoes until sauce is Smooth. (alternatively, blend tomatoes with a standard blender before adding to pot)

 

 

4. Add basil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced slightly and tastes rich, about 30 minutes. Season with salt.

5. Discard basil. Stir in butter, if using, until melted. Use sauce right away, or allow to cool to room temperature, transfer to sealed containers and refrigerate for up to five days or freeze for up to six months.

 

 

(I had planned on saving the sauce for later in the week…however it was so good that Joe turned it into a vegetarian meat sauce poured over some pasta silly Joe… and we gobbled it up for dinner that same evening.)

 

 

🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢🚢

 

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | 1 Comment